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Court Cuts: When 'seasoned counsel' can reasonably guess how a bench is likely to decide...

Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court Vacation Bench on Monday (20 June) was pleasantly surprised when senior counsel, Raju Ramachandran, gave certain options to the bench, if it were to reject his prayer for bail for an accused who had been denied bail by the Orissa high court.

Khanwilkar, who had a brief conversation with his senior colleague on the bench, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, about the case being argued by the counsel, expressed his surprise that Ramachandran could rightly guess what the bench was going to say.

Ramachandran, who was obviously within hearing distance of the muted conversation which the Judges were having among themselves, took Justice Khanwilkar's surprise as a compliment and said 'seasoned counsel can reasonably guess what the bench is likely to say after a hearing'.

While Ramachandran appeared satisfied that he could offer an apt response to Justice Khanwilkar's surprise, his plea to modify the order in a way to satisfy his side, however, met with only partial success.

The bench declined to interfere with the high court's denial of bail to the accused at this stage, and dismissed the SLPs.

However, the bench accepted Ramachandran's other plea and directed that as one of the absconding co-accused had died, as stated by him, investigation be expedited.

The bench, however, did not make it time-bound, as requested by Ramachandran.

The bench also accepted Ramachandran's other prayer by granting the accused liberty to apply for bail, after completion of investigation.


'If such an application is made, the same shall be considered without being influenced by the observations made in the impugned order', the bench stated in its order.

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